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MAT 126 - ads for weight loss products

In many ads for weight loss products, under the product claims and in small print, the following statement is made: “These results are not typical.” What does this say about the product being advertised?

Comments for MAT 126 - ads for weight loss products

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Jun 15, 2012
Ads for Weight Loss Products
by: Staff

The answer:

The phrase “these results are not typical” means that the average person using the weight loss product will never get the results shown in the ad.

Success story testimonials often exaggerate the benefits of weight loss products by showing “amazing” results.

The phrase “these results are not typical” is included as a disclaimer in advertisements to provide legal protection for the advertisers against possible lawsuits.

However, in October 2009, the Federal Trade Commission issued new guidelines which did not allow advertisers to use the phrase “these results are not typical” for diet ads – UNLESS the AD also STATED the TYPICAL RESULTS purchasers can expect.

Since then, the FTC has issued similar guidelines for other products.


. . . a personal comment . . .

In all fairness, the phrase “typical results” is a little more complex than it might appear.

Many years ago I sold diet products for several months. The products worked well.

However, I can tell you from experience that the “typical” purchaser of diet products does not follow directions, and does not actually use the products for more than a few days.

In a way this is similar to buying a car, driving it around the block a couple of times, and then leaving it in your garage for six months. It is unlikely the car probably would even start after being in the garage for three months, let alone six months.

Thanks for writing.


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